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Tom Welling Goes From Superman to "Cheaper by the Dozen"

Interview with Tom Welling


Cheaper by the Dozen star Tom Welling

Tom Welling stars in "Cheaper by the Dozen."

20th Century Fox
Tom Welling is finding himself in the enviable position of being labeled a teen heartthrob after hitting it big in TV's "Smallville." Prior to being cast as the young Clark Kent, Welling had very limited acting experience. And now with his role as Charlie, the oldest son in "Cheaper by the Dozen," Welling gets his first taste of feature film work.

TOM WELLING ('Charlie'):

So Tom, how has “Smallville” changed your life?
“Smallville” changed my life in a way that I have a lot less free time now. Honestly, that's the biggest change. Besides everything else, that's the biggest change. The amount of time I have to myself, and that's about it. In a good way, I suppose.

Is it easier shooting in Vancouver than a place like Los Angeles where there might more activity surrounding you? You must feel somewhat isolated.
In my own mind, I've made just as many arguments for and against both. In one way being in Vancouver, you are isolated. I actually refer to it as being in a submarine in that on Monday morning everybody shows up at the dock, they get on the submarine, and it submerges. Especially in Vancouver where it's wet and rainy. And Friday night at about 10:30 or 10:45pm, everybody gets shore leave for a couple of hours. That's really what it is.

You really can put up blinders and forget about the rest of the world because there is so much work. But on the other hand, you're missing out on the fun and the opportunities you have down here, meeting people and projects and so forth, and being a part of that. But on the other hand, if I was in LA doing it, there would be many more distractions and it may become twice as hard to concentrate on the work.

Piper Perabo was talking about your manners and mannerisms. Were you brought up in a strict household?
I think I was brought up in a respectful household. I remember a time when I was young when my dad was still much bigger than me, I don't remember exactly when. What happened was, I got in trouble for what I did and I remember looking up at my dad and him being REALLY big. And what it was was referring to my mother as 'She.' Like, “She said it,” instead of, “My mom said it.” And my dad turned to me and said, “No, you don't refer to your mother as 'she.'”

What was the punishment?
Just a really big look. One of those [and] I got the point. There didn't need to be a punishment. But I grew up in a household that valued respect and manners, and I think I'm happy for that.

Do you want 12 kids?
Do I want 12 kids? Doing this movie probably didn't convince me more or less to have 12 kids. I mean, I don't have to give birth to 12 kids so that's a conversation that I'd have with my wife. So we'll see how things go.

What attracted you to the business initially?
What attracted me to this business was adventure, I think. Growing up I was always attracted to adventure and adventurous movies. My favorite movie is “Mutiny on the Bounty” for the sole reason of the sense of adventure you get from that film.

I did a show called “Judging Amy” for six episodes and for me, it was fun and great, but I had no idea even what acting was. It wasn't until I got to “Smallville” that I sort of had on the job training of acting, or the process of. The more and more I get to know that process, the more I want to know and am enthralled by it. But to me it was excitement and adventure.

I liked the fact you're always doing something different every day and you get to do a lot of the things you wouldn't be able to do in any other business. If you jump from movie to movie and maybe you're doing a super hero in one movie and then the romantic lead, and the next one you're being a comedian, then you might have to learn martial arts for an adventure film. That's the kind of life I want to have. I have so many different interests in so many different things that this is the perfect way for me to fulfill everything I want to do.

PAGE 2: Kissing Bonnie Hunt, Playing Clark Kent, and Iconic Characters

Additional “Cheaper by the Dozen” Cast Interviews:
Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt

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